Overview: A new study suggests that women who experience migraines, especially with aura, taking combined hormonal contraceptives (CHCs) have a higher risk of thrombotic complications. The risk appears to be highest in women taking newer contraceptives, including those that contain drospirenone such as Yaz and Yasmin. “The impetus behind this study was to look at whether or not newer versus older combined hormonal contraceptives increased thrombotic events, and within that, whether migraine with aura has a synergistic or additive component for thrombotic risk factors,” said lead author Shivang Joshi, MD, a neurologist and headache fellow at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
- Study looking at the association between migraines and blood clots finds that women who take newer contraceptives such as Yaz and Yasmin have the highest risk
- The results of the study builds on previous research showing that drospirenone-containing contraceptives have a higher risk of blood clots and related complications
- The Medscape article interviews one doctor who commented that the thrombotic risk with newer birth control like Yaz or Yasmin was “concerning”
Product: Yaz®, Yasmin® (Drospirenone and Ethinyl Estradiol)
Manufacturer: Bayer AG
Side Effects & Complications
- Blood Clots
- Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Gallbladder Damage
- Heart Attacks
Study Evaluates Link between Thrombotic Events and Migraines in Women Taking CHC Birth Control
According to Medscape, the study used data from the Research Patient Data Registry of Partners Healthcare to identify patients who were diagnosed with a migraine with or without aura between 2001 and 2012. Aura is a symptom in which a migraine sufferers experience perceptual disturbances. Dr. Joshi and his team studied the risk occurrence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, myocardial infarction (MI), transient ischemic attack, and ischemic stroke among some 145,304 women. The participants were either taking one of the newer CHCs, including drospirenone-containing pills such as Yaz or Yasmin, or an older contraceptive agent. Overall, the study found that the risk of thrombotic events was higher in women with migraine with aura versus migraine without aura. Researchers also found that the risk of thrombotic events in women with a migraine was highest in those taking a newer agent such as Yaz or Yasmin.
Alexander Mauskop, MD, director of New York Headache Center commented on the study, stating that the thrombotic risks associated with newer contraceptives is “concerning.”
The study results were released on January 15th and the full study will be presented in March at the American Academy of Neurology 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego, California.
Yaz, Yasmin Blood Clot Risk
The study’s findings support prior research linking drospirenone-containing contraceptives to an increased risk of blood clots. A recent study funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and published in Contraception journal, for example, found that the risk of thrombotic complications in women taking this type of birth control is significantly higher.